Personal Narrative: My First Deployment

Topics: International Security Assistance Force, Battalion, United States Marine Corps, Afghanistan, Regiment / Pages: 8 (1976 words) / Published: Aug 25th, 2016
The purpose of this paper is to share my first deployment experience as the first sergeant. Serving in a war zone is an experience you will never forget. As a result of my first deployment to Afghanistan as a first sergeant, I practiced a new perspective on life, instilling trust in my Soldiers and NCOs to continue the mission. Perspective that I developed from the beginning with the pre-deployment preparation at the National Training Center (NTC) through the actual deployment to Afghanistan and finally over the redeployment home. In January 2009, I was assigned as the first Sergeant for Alpha Company, 2-34 Armored Battalion, 1st Armored Combat Brigade (ACB), 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. With my assignment as the first sergeant, …show more content…
After all, said and done, as a battalion we conducted 33 Air Assault missions, more than any other unit ever conducted in Afghanistan. My company conducted 15 of the 33 air assault missions. In December 2011, due to the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan., my company received word to hand over our COP and Strong point to the Afghan Army. I had to start taking moving essential equipment from both locations while conducting combat missions simultaneously. The handoff had to be completed in thirty days and the pressure was on. My Soldiers worked nonstop for the next few weeks to complete the mission. Any and everything we could move to include T-walls was transported to the big main Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 20 December 2011, the transformation was complete and the Afghan Army had full control of the area of operation my company once own. It was stressful to maintain accountability of my Soldiers as we had moved to the main FOB. Moving from a constrained environment to a large FOB left room for Soldiers to focus on other things beside combat missions. Our missions did not stop, they actually increased because we no longer had to secure our COP area or man two separate locations. Although my stress level went down it was still there because of the intensity of the missions. Finally, we saw light at the end of the tunnel, as our replacement unit started to roll

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